Group to DepEd: Ensure safety of teachers during pilot run of limited in-person classes

For a teachers’ group, the Department of Education (DepEd) must ensure the safety of both teaching and non-teaching personnel as it conducts the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes at the basic education level starting next month.

Photo taken at Agtangao Elementary School in Bangued, Abra in June 2021 (DepEd Abra)

“Mahalagang hakbang ang pilot implementation upang makita natin ang posibilidad ng pagbabalik sa in-person schooling, pero dapat matiyak na ligtas ang lahat ng makikilahok dito - bata, magulang, lalo na ang mga guro (The pilot implementation is an important step so that we can see the possibility of a return to in-person schooling, but we must ensure that everyone who participates is safe - children, parents, and especially teachers),” the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) said.


TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas said that contrary to the joint memorandum released by DepEd and the Department of Health (DOH), teachers who are unvaccinated against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) should not be allowed to participate in the pilot run.

“Hindi dapat isalang ang mga guro na wala pang bakuna sa pilot face to face classes lalo't hindi rin naman ito optional para sa mga guro (Teachers who are not vaccinated yet should not be included in pilot face to face classes especially since it is not optional for teachers),” he said.

For TDC, there should be accountability when a teacher or any of the participants contracts COVID-19 during the pilot run.

“Upang matiyak ang pananagutan dapat lumagda sa isang dokumento ang DepEd na tutulong o mananagot ang ahensiya sakaling mayroong mahawaan ng COVID-19 dahil dito (To ensure accountability, DepEd must sign a document saying that it will assist or hold the agency accountable in the event that someone becomes infected with COVID-19 due to the activity),” Basas said.

Once again, TDC requested for a dialogue with DepEd officials to discuss this matter and other concerns of teachers once the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes officially starts in November.

Based on the latest data from DepEd, a total of 30 schools - out of the 59 that were initially approved by DOH - will push through with the pilot face-to-face classes scheduled to begin from Nov. 15 to Jan. 31, 2022.